my trip to Kennebunkport & Portland, Maine
A couple weekends ago, I met my mom in Boston for a short trip to Maine. I arrived in Boston super late, so we chatted like we hadn't seen each other in months (because we hadn't!) and then sauntered off to sleep around 2am. At the butt crack of my dawn (8am), we got ready and were treated to an overly expensive brunch buffet. But, vacation! We picked up our rental car, and then we were off to Maine!
My friend Alison had told me about this place called Kennebunkport, and she mentioned it was the cutest place in all of Maine. Naturally, I wanted to go. And thankfully, it happened to be located between Boston and Portland. Wins all around!
Our first stop was pretty random. We were listening to Gerti (my handy GPS) and driving towards the maine (<< see what I did there? ;) ) part of Kennebunkport, but we happened to notice the ocean! the houses! and all of the other people stopping! And it was the first water we had seen since leaving Boston, so I wanted to get out ASAP! Thank goodness we had our own car, because my short wearing legs were not prepared for the chilly Maine winds! I switched out into my white pants, and we were off.
There wasn't much to see at this little stop, other than the houses and ocean. The houses were huge and beautiful, and I'm not quite sure why I didn't take any photos for you. They all were empty though, as we had arrived a week before the peak season. However, if I had one of those houses, I would be there all. of. the. time!
Our next stop was this tiny place in the heart of Kennebunkport called The Clam Shack. My mom had heard great recommendations about it, so we figured it was worth a try. And the Kennedy & the Bush Family apparently frequent there often, so we thought we'd see some celebrities. Sad to disappoint, but we didn't. We did eat the best (and only) fried scallops I've ever tasted, and a top notch lobster roll (sans mayo, please).
The weather was amazingly beautiful. It wasn't too hot, or too cold, so we really lucked out! The little town of Kennebunkport is like that little old lady you see walking that you just want to pick up and put in your pocket cute! It's super small, but it was so charming. We tasted a lot of different jams, sauces, and dips at The Flaming Gourmet, which made me wish I 1) had more money than I do and 2) was a hostess for the rest of my life. The good news for you (and me) is that you can order your own goodies from their website.
Next, we found a Christmas store. All towns, big or small, always have a Christmas store that's open all the time. And if there is one, I will find it! I actually love to collect ornaments from different places I've traveled too. They usually always have one that's in my style, but also commemorative of my trip there.
Another thing that both my mom and I collect separately is artwork from places we've traveled. My parents actually used to have a wall that hung artwork from all over the world as special keepsakes of their time there. They inspired me to start doing that very thing when I studied abroad, and I haven't stopped. Usually, you can find really unique and pretty artwork for $10-$25, which is a steal. If you've been to my apartment then you've seen the evidence.
After Kennebunkport, we turned on Gertie and traveled up to Portland. Checked into the cutest hotel, napped for a hot minute, and were off to our next adventure. Portland, Maine, is another small, coastal town in Maine. It's a little larger than Kennebunkport, but it's downtown area is charming.
I noticed Shipyard Brewery was on the tourist map we were given when we checked in, and I did a little happy dance in my heart. Shipyard makes my absolute favorite fall beer: Pumpkinhead. It's always served with Cinnamon Sugar around the rim. The first time I had it was actually in Boston, so I thought it was a Boston beer. I was so happy to be wrong. We walked along the parkway until we arrived at Shipyard.
I love breweries. I've only been to a handful, but I absolutely love them. I was surprised at how small Shipyard's brewery was though. I thought Shipyard was a lot bigger brand than they are, so I was happy, but surprised, that there was this quaint little bar that you walk up to and free samples are handed out! We tried all 12, and there was only 1 that we didn't like. I actually had their summer beer during lunch in Kennebunkport, so I was super happy they had that one tap too. My favorite was their Cinco de Mayo beer. They put their summer ale in an old tequila barrell, and made a brand new beer. It tasted delicious. It tasted like their summer ale (light and fresh) with more hints of lime and little kick of tequila. I was really impressed of their brewing skills after that.
I could have spent all day there, but I have a reputation to uphold and that is one that does not involve falling on the ground ;) Feeling just a little tipsy and funny, we walked the length of the parkway, all around the water. We found some rocks to climb and take pictures from. Then we realized our stomachs needed more than just a lobster roll, and turned back towards town.
On the map, there looked like only one restaurant on a boat, so we headed in that direction. I love anything that involves boats. Which, funnily enough, I always thought I developed my love for boats when I was in high school and got my boating license for summer's at the lake. But, my mom informed me that I've loved them since I was 5 and we were living in Seattle! Now, it's even more clear that I need to buy a lake house, boat, and jet ski, and just relocate my life to that location. If only.
The restaurant was a tad snooty, but we ended up getting a table outdoors. The outdoor seating was apparently the locals section, so we were happy with that. I ordered lobster mac and cheese, and mom ordered scallop carbonara pasta. Afterwards, we went to this divey Oyster shack so I could get my fix of oysters. If I lived in Portland, Maine, I would for sure become a local there. Small, divey, good food and people are about all I need. Oh, and it's on the water!
Mom and I are both huge Outlander fans! We went home after the oysters and watched the season finale of Outlander...on my phone. Ha! It actually worked out for the best that way.
The next morning, mom scheduled massages for us at 7:30am. That is essentially a foreign time zone for Cori, but when a massage is offered, sacrifices must be made. And it was so worth it! We lucked out on exploring on Saturday, because Sunday was rainy! After getting dressed and packed, we stopped at this donut place for breakfast call The Holey Donut. Mom ran inside to get our breakfast, while I played Dad and circled the area until she came out. The donuts were amazing! They were made out of potatoes - no flour! - which you would expect to be very dense. But, they were the lightest donuts I've had.
We plugged Gertie back in, and headed back to Boston. We met up with my good friend, Jake, at Legal Harborside. The best sushi and bloody marys. It also hosts a spectacular view of the harbor in Boston - especially when a storm is coming.
It was so good to see my mom. Portland and Kennebunkport are a must-see on your next Northeast vacation.
Click through the rest of the photos below